With new construction and renovation clients, the sky is the limit! This can be both a blessing and a curse, as you try and help them navigate the often-murky waters of model homes and renovations – selecting fixtures and flooring, comparing prices, discussing options and deciding how best to proceed. (These issues can be especially emotionally significant when working with first-time buyers.) What are some of the ways real estate agents can best help their new construction and renovation clients go through these steps?
One of the best ways before the process even begins is setting down on a sheet of paper what your clients most want from a house or for the end result of a renovation. When it comes time for options, then, your clients can see that having that jetted tub in the bathroom may have to be sacrificed if they also want granite countertops in the kitchen; or that if you want a porch that big, you’re going to have to let go of the idea of a swingset and trampoline in the backyard. This also helps you as an agent comprehend what the biggest negotiations are going to have to be before you even start working with the builder or contractor.
Another way that an agent can help new construction and renovation clients is in the visualization of the project. Oftentimes, new construction and renovation clients can get frustrated in the middle of a project because there’s nothing to see, and nothing to do yet. Helping clients visualize what’s happening and what’s going to be once the house or renovation project is complete can help alleviate some of their anxiety and keep their excitement levels lifted. Here are 5 of the best apps currently on the market to help you with your clients:
The Houzz app and website has been widely discussed on this and other real estate blogs before, and for good reason. Started as a site to collect interior design information, Houzz has now expanded to include information about room designs, specific interior projects and local designers. Now, if you fall in love with the way a room looks online, you can often track down who constructed and designed the room. Houzz also offers the ability to price out objects in the room, including fixtures, flooring and cabinetry – allowing you to help your clients come to grips with the reality of falling in love with that Brazilian cherry flooring in herringbone pattern.
2. MagicPlan and My Measures & Dimensions PRO
Both of these apps offer something similar – the ability to take and save measurements, which in any new project, can be extremely important. MagicPlan utilizes the camera on your smartphone or tablet to take measurements of a room, and constructing a floor plan with which your clients can then fine-tune the room online with an interactive floor plan. Once the walls are up on a new construction house, it can be difficult for clients to visualize what’s next and where furniture can start to go. With MagicPlan, you can create a floor plan they can use to start dreaming (and preparing for) the next steps. Similarly, clients in the middle of a renovation can have something concrete to look at while the project continues around them.
My Measures & Dimensions PRO, although a bit pricey, stores information about objects and their dimensions. Whether you’re going through an initial walk-through with new construction clients or talking through the first steps of a renovation, you can use this app to take and store information about anything from HVAC systems to the size of the current windows. Not only will you be the most prepared, but you have that information at your fingertips – especially useful for discombobulated clients.
Inevitably, it will be discussed that there is NO WAY that couch/bed/table/hutch/coffee table will fit into the new space, and “What will we do? We just want everything to look nice!” Adornably helps solve that problem by giving your clients a little peace of mind (and some homework/play time). Adornably allows your clients to take a picture of a space and then fill it to the brim with gorgeous furniture – even allowing them to purchase favorites straight from the app. With editing features and shareability (for those “I’m not so sure” moments), Adornably will give your clients a better idea of a completed space and a much-needed feeling of control during an uncertain time.
4. Homestyler Interior Design
Design doesn’t start and stop with furniture, however, and that’s where the Homestyler Interior Design app comes in. Once your clients get tired of rearranging the furniture, chances are good they’ll start to second-guess the wall color, fixtures, etc. With the Homestyler app, however, they’ll be able to view paint colors, furniture, fixtures, rugs and more in a 3D-rendered setting. Why? Because some things are not better left to the imagination!
5. DesignMine and nousDECOR
Arguably the best part about new construction and renovation projects is the decoration of the new room and/or home. Along the lines of the previous apps, being able to visually see an idea come to life is the best way to keep hope alive when a construction or renovation project gets delayed. Instead of saying, “Just wait until you see how great it’s going to look!”, you can show them. Both DesignMine and nousDECOR allow your clients to go crazy with scheming about new curtain patterns or discussing flooring options without ripping out the carpet for the 30th time. DesignMine acts almost like a Pinterest of interior design – allowing the client to pick and choose styles and spaces and save them as boards. Similarly, NousDECOR has MoodBoards, as well as resources in the form of blog posts and an active, creative community.
What app would you suggest for a new construction or renovation client to keep them on the road to happiness?